I love this place, Portland(ia).
Yes, the dream of the ’90s is alive here for voluntarily underemployed coffee, beer, and indie music snobs, but so is the entrepreneurial tech spirit. You can have it both ways.
At the kickoff function for last week’s Portland Digital Experience and Musicfest Northwest, a fellow attendee noted, “It’s never going to be like this again.” He’s right, this is our moment.
The past five years have been a whirlwind for the tech startup scene here. The creative culture has always been strong, as has the collective intellect. The technical pool is deep.
There hasn’t been a shortage of great ideas in the Rose City, but most never make it to a round of funding. Heck, I was almost in on the ground floor of startup for buying beers.
That has changed, for the better. We have proudly watched companies like Urban Airship and the former Small Society have a great impact on the tech world. More await.
This could be a golden age in Portland for entrepreneurial tech, but time will tell if it is a peak or one point in our hockey-stick growth.
However, none of that matters. On that night last week with my new friend at the party, we compared notes on the great folks in the room. And their ideas. And their companies.
The list of good people who are doing great things and bringing others along with them is a long one. Some of the brightest tech minds you’ll meet live right here, by choice.
They are also some of the most modest and generous with their colleagues and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. The funding infrastructure is also maturing for our companies.
There is a great deal of good work being done by governmental agencies and private companies to recruit new tech companies and help incubate local ones (e.g. P.I.E.).
It’s a fun ride and it will be interesting to see where it heads for Portland. In the meantime, soak it up.